I might consider giving real money to someone with a good answer to, “How is your novel coming along?”

I know the people who ask this question are trying to be nice and involved in my life, and I’m glad that they do ask for that reason. I just never feel able to produce a satisfactory answer.

I could try for literal, “I’ve written 500 words today and 5000 words since the last time I you asked.” Or I could go for dramtic, “I haven’t killed myself yet.” I could go for self-deprecating humor, “I haven’t killed myself yet, so better than the last one.” I could go for humor, “I outsourced the entire thing to China. They kicked out a great book in a few days, but now I need a translator.” Or I could go for polite, “Great! thanks for asking.”

I usually opt for polite, but any way you slice it, despite the long hours I spend on my work, I don’t feel like I’m doing much. Writing just takes a lot of perseverance and patience. According to the big pros, if nothing’s happened after a few years, stay the course, you’re not ahead of the pack, but you’re not lagging behind either. According to this survey by Jim C. Hines, 11 years is not a bad goal to shoot for.

So, I guess the moral of this story is that you should take time to have a glass of wine, relax, and enjoy life. Your big break might not even be on next year’s calendar.

3 thoughts on “Drudgery

  1. D. Moonfire

    I think long-term plans are a good thing. When I decided I was going to aim for traditional, I came up with a five year plan for it. Yeah, it’s half of what you said, but I’m going to pretend the first five years already happened. 🙂

    So, I’ll get published in 2016, one way or the other. 😀


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